Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a deliberative process between two or more actors that seek a solution to a common issue or who are bartering over an item of value. Negotiation skills include the range of negotiation techniques negotiators employ to create value and claim value in their dealmaking business negotiations and beyond. Negotiation skills can help you make deals, solve problems, manage conflicts, and build relationships as well as preserve relationships. Negotiation skills can be learned with conscious effort and should be practiced once learned.

Negotiation training includes the range of activities and exercises negotiators undertake to improve their skills and techniques. Role-play simulations developed from real-world research and negotiation case studies, negotiation training provides benefits for teams and individuals seeking to create and claim more value in their negotiations.

The right skills allow you to maximize the value of your negotiated outcomes by effectively navigating the negotiation process from setup to commitment to implementation.

Negotiation training courses include Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems, the Advanced Negotiation Master Class, Harvard Negotiation Institute programs, and the PON graduate seminars.

This training allows negotiators to:

  • Acquire a systematic framework for analyzing and understanding negotiation
  • Assess and heighten awareness of your strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator
  • Learn how to create and maximize value in negotiations
  • Gain problem-solving techniques for distributing value fairly while strengthening relationships
  • Develop skills to deal with difficult negotiators and hard-bargaining tactics
  • Learn how to match the process to the context
  • Discover how effectively to manage and coordinate across and behind-the-table negotiations
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Negotiation Best Practices for Business Competitors

Katie Shonk   •  01/13/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


Industry rivals often struggle to engage in negotiation best practices, balancing profit maximization through competition with industry-strengthening cooperative moves. Become overly competitive, and firms risk fostering conflict and constricting innovation. Collaborate in the wrong ways, and they could cut ethical corners or even break the law.

When an industry is struggling, this balance can be especially … Learn More About This Program 

Notable Negotiation Books for 2020

Katie Shonk   •  12/09/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation books

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to strengthen your skills needed for negotiation, the following recent negotiation books—and one journal special issue—will help you do just that with their host of perspectives and strategies. These negotiation books will also entertain and educate you along the way with insights on topics such as political … Read Notable Negotiation Books for 2020 

Skills Needed for Negotiation: BATNA Analysis

Katie Shonk   •  12/02/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

skills needed for negotiation

Ask almost any real estate agent, and you’ll hear that homeowners often turn down decent offers in the hope of getting a better one that never materializes. Such miscalculations reflect the difficulty of assessing an uncertain BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

According to negotiation experts, the ability to accurately compare the deal on … Read Skills Needed for Negotiation: BATNA Analysis 

Integrative Bargaining in Congress? It Happens Sometimes

Katie Shonk   •  11/25/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

integrative bargaining

With Congress polarized by an impeachment hearing and its major legislative initiatives stalled in late 2019, it may be worthwhile to revisit a recent instance of integrative bargaining between Democrats and Republicans. In integrative bargaining, parties create value by discussing multiple issues and logrolling—that is, making tradeoffs across those issues. In 2018, the rival parties … Learn More About This Program 

Positional Bargaining Pitfalls

Katie Shonk   •  11/18/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

positional bargaining

When they think of negotiation, many people imagine a positional bargaining scenario where two people are haggling back-and-forth over the price of an item, both refusing to budge. In positional bargaining, “each side takes a position, argues for it, and makes concessions to reach a compromise,” write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in … Read Positional Bargaining Pitfalls 

Online Negotiation Strategies: Email and Videoconferencing

Katie Shonk   •  11/04/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

online negotiation strategies

Online negotiation has become ubiquitous, as it allows us to negotiate across the miles cheaply and quickly. Yet online negotiation creates special challenges. With email, instant messaging, and text messages, negotiators typically lack visual, verbal, and other sensory cues to interpret how their counterpart is feeling. And while videoconferencing—via Skype, Google Hangouts, and so on—adds … Learn More About This Program 

The Effects of Power in Negotiation

PON Staff   •  10/28/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

power in negotiation

You might think that you’re entering a negotiation as the more powerful party, but those with considerable power often fail to take advantage of their privileged bargaining position. Meanwhile, negotiators who lack power routinely miss out on opportunities to gain leverage. To make the most of the power you have, it’s important to understand the … Read The Effects of Power in Negotiation 

In Preparation for Negotiation, Choose the Right Process

PON Staff   •  10/14/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

preparation for negotiation

In preparation for negotiation, sellers face a choice between negotiating one on one with buyers, holding an auction, or combining elements of both processes. Consider the different paths that Amazon and Apple followed in 2017 when each began scouting locations for a new campus: 

Dangling the prospect of a $5 billion campus and about 50,000 … Learn More About This Program 

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